STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: CB430120RO
McDONALD EQUITIES DOCKET NO.: AK430071B
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 12, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed
a petition for administrative review (PAR) of an order issued on
January 8, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 204 West 81 Street, New York, NY. wherein
the Administrator determined that there had been a decrease in
building-wide services, directed the owner to restore services, and
ordered a reduction of the tenants legal rents.
The tenants commenced the proceedings on November 20, 1986 by
filing a complaint of various decreased building-wide services.
Among other things, the tenants complained that there was no on-
premises superintendent or one in the immediate location; that
there was no sign posted indicating his name, address and phone
number; that the halls had not been painted in several years, that
the public areas and the basement were filthy, and that the
entrance and basement doors and locks were defective.
The owner responded on January 13, 1987 disputing the tenants'
allegations of reduced services. The owner stated, among other
things, that he lived on the premises and could be reached there in
the evening, and by beeper or through the managing agent during the
day; that public halls were cleaned adequately twice a week; that
the halls were in the process of being restored, plastered and
painted; and that the front door lock was in good condition. The
tenants' filed a response disputing the owner's claim of adequate
An inspection conducted February 11, 1987 found that the
public hallway required painting; that the intercom was defective;
that the public areas and basement were not clean; that the hallway
entrance door was warped and did not close properly; and that the
basement door locking device was defective.
A second inspection on October 21, 1987 found that there was
still no on-premises resident superintendent; no sign posting the
superintendent's name if any, the address and phone number and that
the hallway was slightly soiled due to the plastering and painting
underway in the hallway. Other conditions cited in the complaint
were not substantiated or were found and have been corrected.
On January 8, 1988, the Administrator issued orders reducing
the tenants' rents based on the findings that the public hallways
required painting, and that the public areas were dirty combined
with the fact that no superintendent information was posted.
The owner's appeal suggested that since plastering and
painting repairs, as well as other renovations were underway, the
record did not support a finding of reduced services. Copies of
owner's appeal were served on the tenants on March 17, 1988. The
tenants filed identical answers, stating, in pertinent part, that
there was still no superintendent information posted in the hall,
and that the painting in the hallways remained unfinished. In
reply to the tenants' claims, the owner acknowledges that the
building was, in fact, undergoing substantial renovation of the
public areas and in several apartments, but that nevertheless, the
building was clean despite the construction.
The record confirms that painting and plastering were under
way at the time of the second inspection, but that work remained
incomplete more than ten months after the tenants' complaint was
served on the owner. The owner also failed to explain why
information regarding the individual performing the janitorial
services at the subject premises was not posted. Section 27-2053
of the City Housing Maintenance Code requires all owners of
multiple dwellings of nine or more units, including resident owner,
to post such information.
Based on the record, the Administrator's order was correct and
should be affirmed.
The Commissioner also notes that the tenants' answers to the
owner's administrative appeal are not a proper vehicle to dispute
and object to the Administrator's determination dismissing the
remaining complaints. In order to do this the tenants would have
to have filed a timely PAR.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent and Eviction
Regulations for New York City, the City Rent Control Law, and the
Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is,
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same
Joseph A. D'Agosta